A Message From Dr. Bell  

August 03, 2015
A new school year always gets me thinking about the future. There is so much rapid change in the current world of education that it just sometimes feels overwhelming.  Great care is taken at ESU 10 to focus the Program of Services to best meet the identified needs of the school districts that we serve as we “partner with our customers to meet changing needs through professional expertise, training, and support.” Time this summer was spent looking at all sorts of data to help drive the ESU 10 mission as we prepare for our upcoming AdvanceEd certification visit. One of my favorite assessment tools is the CASE process report from BrightBytes.  Many ESU 10 school districts use this tool, provided by this unit at no school district cost, to drive 21st century learning decisions. We use a similar BrightBytes tool developed for educational service agencies. Much thought is being given as to the most effective and efficient ways to provide service. We think we are on the right track and are now working on the methodology to continue quality service as we slowly evolve into a more on-line service delivery presence.

Margaret Mead was an American cultural anthropologist who was popular when I frequented the college campus as a student of higher education. Some of her thoughts were controversial, but she did have one quote that I use as a guide as we look to the future. She said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” In our case I would like to substitute the word “citizens” to “educators”. This is why partnership with all of you is so important. Although this is a rather arduous period for education with the countless requirements that keep coming our way, it is also extremely exciting because we are challenged to reach even higher levels of performance. I just wish we could clone the teachers and administrators that live and work in the ESU 10 area and share you with the rest of the country. You are truly an awesome collection of professionals. I am reminded of this fact often when I interact with my national peers.  

Now I need to finish my summer reading list. I have been catching up with the wit and wisdom of my favorite Canadian philosopher, Red Green. Some of the topics I may still study are:

   • The Intricacies of Hang Gliding and How to Make a Leg Splint
   • Avoiding Activity as a Lifestyle
   • The Importance of Excess Gas in the Need to Find Your Own Space
   • The Exciting New Technologies That are Coming Soon, and How to Sound Like You Understand Them
   • The Importance of Pretending You are Interested in Other People
   • How to Get Your Wife and Kids to Do What You Want So You Can Have More Family Time Together
   • How to Turn Your Van Into a Bed and Breakfast

The last one really intrigues me because we sell an older and well used ESU 10 van every year. This could become a “cottage” business for us. What? One must be innovative to keep this well-oiled machine functioning to meet your needs. 

Welcome back to a new school year. I hope it is the best ever for all of you.